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Article Summery

In: English and Literature

Submitted By lrwilliams
Words 298
Pages 2
Article Summary
With online education becoming more widely accepted and available around the world, many people wonder about the differences between traditional classrooms and virtual classrooms. One difference is student participation and communication. In a traditional classroom setting, some students are able to earn credit by just attending class, not necessarily participating in class discussions. What do those types of students look like in an online environment? Does their lack of participation affect the learning process for others? How does class participation equate to student success?
With this case study, the authors sought to answer those questions exactly. More particularly, the study examined online students who fail to fully engage but are still able to show educational progress, referred to as read-only participants or ROPs (Nagel, Blignaut, & Cronje, 2009). The authors wanted to understand the connection between participation and communication and course success. They organized an eight-week online Masters course using WebCT as the learning management system (LMS). Twenty-two middle-aged students, from all over the world, participated in the course. Students were required to participate through class discussion via forum posts, group assignments, and other research. A collaboration rubric was created by the students as a group assignment and used by their peers to measure their group participation. After the course, the facilitators requested feedback from the students regarding the course. Data was collected through WebCT. The LMS tracked the number of times each student logged into the course, the number of original posts made, the number of posts made in response to other students, and the collaboration score gained from the rubric (Nagel et al., 2009). WebCT’s technology proved very reliable in tracking the data needed to complete this study.
Through the study, the authors found students who participated—meaning they...

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